Customs and Excise Officers must on regular basis deal with situations where detentions, seizure and forfeiture are necessary.
Some doubts may exist as to when Customs and Excise Officers must detain, seize, or impose forfeiture on goods deemed illegally imported or exported. It is the intention of this chapter to clarify some of these issues.
The under listed scenarios are described in more detail for the purposes mentioned:
Section 98(1) of the Act provides that a Customs and Excise officer, Magistrate or member of the Namibian Police Force may detain any ship, vehicle, plant, material or goods at any place for the purpose of establishing whether they are liable to forfeiture under the Act.
Such detentions may be so detained where they are found or removed to and stored at a secure place at the cost, risk, and expense of the owner, importer, manufacturer or the person in whose possession premises they were found.
The duration of the detention of goods will depend on the time span of the investigation, in order to ascertain that the goods are liable to foferture or not.
A clear distinction should be made however, between goods that are detained and goods that have a lien placed on them. Goods may be detained in terms of Section 98 of the Act as security for transgressions regarding other goods, and liens may not be placed on goods that are liable to forfeiture.
Several Sections of the Customs and Excise Act determines which goods may be seized. Only goods that are liable to forfeiture may be seized. If Customs and Excise Officers are uncertain whether goods are liable to forfeiture, they should rather detain in order to ascertain whether the goods may in effect be seized.
To forfeit something means to be deprived of something as a punishment for failure to adhere to specific laws. Section 97(1) (a) of the Act specifies the circumstances as to when goods are deemed liable to forfeiture.
For the purposes of the proper enforcement of the provisions of the Act, forfeiture is the imposition of a punishment for intentional conduct, purposefully aimed at defrauding the State and must be applied concurrently with seizure, Section 98 and forfeiture Section 97(1) (a) of the Act.
Goods on hand which are liable to forfeiture and seized, may be released on payment of the duties outstanding as well as any amounts stipulated in the Offences and Penalty Guidelines.
Click on the link below to download the complete Detention, Seizure and Forfeiture Guidelines.Detention, Seizure and Forfeiture Guidelines
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